Revision – it’s not something anyone really looks forward to, is it? But, it’s an inescapable part of life – something you can’t run or hide from, no matter how hard you try. You can try and avoid it or put it off, but eventually you’ll have to face it head on, or risk failing your upcoming exams and jeopardising your academic and professional future.

When you would think about revision, books will usually be one of the first things to pop into your head. Images of students hidden away in their bedrooms, or in dark corners of the library, surrounded by mountains of thick textbooks, notepads and colourful highlighters.

Traditionally, this has been the main way students have revised in the run-up to their exams – re-reading their core subject textbooks and notes they had made throughout the year, possibly making new additions or amendments to those notes. However, in recent years we’ve started to see a noticeable change in the methods students are using when it comes to revising, which had caused many people to ask the same question – are books becoming a less popular method for revision?

Before we can truly answer this question, we need to look at some of the alternative revision methods students are now using.

Group revision sessions
While some students will always prefer to revise in solitude, more and more are reaping the potential benefits that group revision sessions can provide. This is by no means a new phenomenon, however, people have been studying in groups for as long as people have been studying.

Without a proper plan or structure in place, however, a group revision session can easily go off topic and descend into chaos. If you follow some simple rules though, there is no reason why you can’t benefit from group revision sessions. It’s always advisable to keep your group fairly small, with a pre-agreed plan in place and a designated person to lead the group, making sure you don’t drift off topic.

Online revision tools
Online revision is something that has been rapidly increasing in popularity in recent years, as technology continues to advance at an ever-increasing rate. Online revision comes in all shapes and sizes, including e-books, questions and past papers, video lectures, podcasts, mobile apps and much more.

More and more students are moving away from traditional revision methods, making the move to online revision, thanks to the range of different benefits it offers. Online revision is much more accessible and flexible than traditional, book-based revision. If you can access your revision materials on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can revise from wherever you are, whenever you want, without having to worry about carrying multiple heavy textbooks around with you.

The ability to revise wherever you want, whenever you want, can help improve your overall productivity. On top of this, the range of different online tools available keeps things interesting, reducing the chances of you getting bored and distracted.

Despite the rising popularity of alternative forms of revision, traditional textbook-based revision still has an important role to play in the academic career of students. Instead of viewing them as opposing options to be chosen between, different techniques should be viewed as complimentary, working together to help students develop a much more rounded approach to their revision.

PasTest have been helping medical students prepare for their exams for years, and provide a wide range of different options when it comes to revision, including online exams, video lectures, podcasts and much more.

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